Shawn McNaughton, President | An active participant in promoting mental health initiatives over the past four years, Shawn brings a strong business acumen, extensive experience in finance, sales, marketing and logistics in both the hospitality and consumer-packaged goods world and an ability to motivate his network to support mental health. When not working, he is generally outdoors running or hiking with his wife or spending time at various charity events. Shawn’s sleeves are permanently rolled up, his brain is constantly coming up with new ideas, and his ability to lead and motivate has created numerous personal and professional successes.
Ealeen Wong, Vice-President | Over the past ten years, Ealeen has been leading strategy for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Her past experiences include international brand management with Procter and Gamble, corporate operations with Aritzia, and collaborative fundraising with non-profits such as United Way. Currently, Ealeen is the Director of Strategy and Business Development for Expedia Group, where she lives out her passion for travel and adventure. In her free time, she can be found sweating it out on a yoga mat, or exploring the great outdoors with her husband and son.
Zoe Robinson, Treasurer | Zoe Robinson has worked in the not-for-profit industry for nearly 30 years, serving in a variety of management positions and currently works as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Ski Patrol. She has worked previously in television and video production, health administration, and as a COO and CEO in amateur sport. Zoe is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Certified Management Accountant legacy designation, a graduate of Queen’s University (Bachelor of Arts – Music History) in Kingston Ontario and attended the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program at the University of Toronto. She assists nonprofits to understand governance, how to create an effective board of directors, and develop strategic planning through a design thinking lens. She volunteers her time to support not-for-profits in the lower mainland as a Knowledge Philanthropist for Vantage Point.
Nick Neacsu, Secretary | Nick is 39 years old and is a licensed Realtor in British Columbia. For the last 9 years he has worked in Vancouver. Nick has a Bachelors of Science in Marketing from Hawaii Pacific University. He mentors a lot of young agents in the industry, hosts a podcast, and is also involved in volunteering for different organizations throughout the year. Nick struggled with severe anxiety attacked from the age of 9 to nearly 20 years old. Nick’s brother also suffers with severe PTSD from his tour in Afghanistan with the Canadian Army. Nick feels his mental illness as a child and young adult shaped who he is today in a very positive way. Nick’s involvement with the CMHA Vancouver-Fraser Board of Directors gives him an opportunity to further support an organization that truly helps people with mental illness understand and manage their battle with this stigmatized illness. With his background in business and his personal experience with mental illness, Nick feels he can offer another perspective sounding board that adds value to this incredible organization.
Conny Lin, Past-President | Conny Lin has a PhD in neuroscience, is the government relations manager for Nomen in Tech, and has served as a Science Policy Fellow at the Ministry of Health. She has 9 years of experience in mental health research (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder & Alcoholism). She has served as a director and advisor on numerous national non-partisan, political, and academic organizations, as well as on several UBC boards (UBC Alumni, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Graduate Student Society, Alma Mater Society, among others). Examples of her contributions include reviving business operations, Bylaws revisions, national policy amendments, and union negotiations. She is passionate about removing the stigma of “mental health issues” and had been advocating this paradigm at the national and provincial level. She is enthusiastic about her work with CMHA where she can translate her academic and policy background into services to enhance people’s mental health and wellness.
Vivian Lam, Director | Vivian desires to see society openly discuss mental health in the same way as physical health. Vivian holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia where she examined the effect of prenatal alcohol exposure on mental health outcome later in life, co-founded the organization The Science and Policy Integration Network to promote the use of knowledge toward positive change, and is currently with Genome British Columbia where she advocates the use of data in corporate development. Vivian wants to use her research background in mental health, and her expertise in strategic planning and project management to support CMHA Vancouver Fraser’s work in enabling people to live more mentally healthy lives. Vivian’s favorite activities for reducing stress are making greeting cards, drinking earl grey tea, and cuddling with her 22-year-old cat that she grew up with.
Jason Lau, Director | Jason has over 10 years of experience in real estate development and construction. Born and raised in Calgary, Jason moved to Vancouver to pursue his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After obtaining his degree in 2003, he studied at BCIT, obtained his diploma in Financial Management and set forth his future career in accounting. Jason is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and is excited to bring his finance and business strategy perspectives to benefit CMHA.
Saira Sabzaali, Director | Dr. Saira Sabzaali has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for over ten years. She has a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology, and specializes in anxiety, depression, childhood trauma, addictions/recovery, and family relationships. She has a special interest in working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds, as well those from the LGBTQ2 communities, particularly with youth and young people in transition. She is an avid volunteer, dividing her time between various leadership roles in her local community, her faith group, Scouts Canada, CMHA, and her young family. She brings to the board a clinical background in psychology, an evidence-based approach to wellness, a deep understanding of addictions, recovery, the impact of stigma, and what it takes to obtain and maintain optimal mental health.
Mike Shekhtman, Director | Mike Shekhtman is a Regional Vice President with Robert Half in British Columbia. As an RVP, he oversees several offices and lines of businesses in BC while managing strategic client development. The 4 operational business units include Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Accountemps, Management Resources and OfficeTeam. Mike brings over a decade of industry expertise in Recruitment – Specializing in Accounting & Finance, Administration, Technology and Supply Chain with an intimate understanding of the economic landscape in British Columbia. Mike is also the Co-Founder of eeko Couriers, a successful Freight/Courier and 3PL Distribution provider founded in 2009 servicing organizations such as Vancouver Aquarium, Earls, Whole Foods and Good Food. Mike is also passionate in his non-profit activities and has previously sat as a board member and Chair, Vice President at D.A.R.E BC. He also volunteered for various causes such as Ronald Macdonald House BC, Movember, Canadian Cancer Society and Dress for Success. He spends most of his personal time with his wife and two young sons, Noah and Coen and is an avid soccer player.
Newsha Siouffi, Director| Newsha has seen firsthand the recovery potential of individuals struggling with mental illness when appropriate access to support systems are in place. This life experience drives Newsha’s passion in volunteering with CMHA Vancouver Fraser Branch in support of their significant contributions to the promotion of mental wellbeing. Newsha approaches business challenges from a place of curiosity, she brings to the board strong business acumen in strategic planning, operations, and project management. She has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a Strategic Management concentration from the UBC Sauder School of Business in addition to a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University’s Schulich School of Business. Currently working as the Operations Manager at Vancity Credit Union, Newsha has over 10 years of experience in the finance sector. Earning a Psychology Degree from Simon Fraser University has deepened her understanding of the core complexities of mental illness and the multi-pronged approach required to achieve recovery. As a new parent, Newsha is relishing learning something new about her son every day and watching his rapid development.
Alyssa Wiens, Director | Alyssa is a certified financial planner (CFP) and has been working in the field of finance for 9 years, specializing in retirement planning and corporate tax planning. Alyssa has always been committed to giving back and has been involved in various humanitarian efforts throughout the years, including travelling to the Chitwan district of Nepal and completing a big build with Habitat for Humanity. Having had firsthand experience with the impacts that mental health challenges can create, she has developed a keen interest in promoting mental health awareness, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. She is not only passionate about mental health but physical health as well and is an avid runner, having completed several half marathons. Alyssa would love the opportunity to bring her passion, enthusiasm, and collaboration to the CMHA board, to assist in the journey of helping people lead mentally healthy lives.
Sarah Zurbuchen, Director | Sarah is a true advocate of mental health as she has personally experienced mental health challenges with almost every member of her immediate family. For 14 years she has specialized in fundraising, special-event planning, marketing and communications. She was responsible for managing over $40 million in annual fundraising for two charities: the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Avon Foundation for Women. Sarah resides in North Vancouver with her husband and two-year old son. Sarah has been in the top 5 overall fundraisers for CMHA’s annual Ride Don’t Hide event for the last two years.